U.S. Could Be 'Weeks Away' From Repealing Roe v. Wade, Pro-Abortion Advocates Warn as Country Marks 46th Anniversary

As the U.S. marks the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion across the country, pro-abortion advocates are warning that it could be for the last time.

"We need to very clear about what's at stake—there might not be a 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade next year," #VoteProChoice co-founder and CEO Heidi Sieck said in a statement Tuesday.

Related: Republican congressman celebrates Roe v. Wade soon being overturned after Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation

"Trump and his administration are determined to overturn Roe," Sieck said. "And now," she added, that Brett Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court, "we may be just months away from repeal."

"This is a national crisis," Sieck said.

In the wake of Kavanaugh's nomination and in the months following his appointment last year, abortion rights groups have expressed strong concerns that Roe risks being overturned now that the Supreme Court has a conservative majority.

Perhaps pinning their hopes on that possibility, a number of states across the country have recently introduced measures that could threaten access to abortions if the Supreme Court ruling is overturned.

As #VoteProChoice points out, already in 2019 alone lawmakers in at least 17 states have prepared new abortion restrictions, including "heartbeat bans" in Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky and Missouri. "Heartbeat ban" bills seek to prevent abortions at the first sign of a heartbeat, which typically falls around the six-week mark, a time when many women are unlikely to even know they are pregnant yet.

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, 11 states in the U.S. already have pre-Roe bans in place that could be activated if the ruling is overturned. Four states—Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Dakota—also have "trigger bans," which aim to automatically outlaw abortion if Roe is overturned, with some bans making no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

As some states prepare anti-abortion legislation in the event that Roeis overturned, others are preparing for the possibility, but by ramping up efforts to support a woman's right to abortion.

In New York, legislators are expected to mark the 46th anniversary of the ruling by passing the Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday. The bill would ensure that abortion is decriminalized in the state and guarantees women the same protections guaranteed underRoe.

While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has previously pushed for the bill, nearly all of his abortion measures were blocked while the Republicans ran the Senate. But now that Democrats control the chamber, the bill is expected to clear the Legislature.

In its statement, #VoteProChoice stressed that "most American voters support reproductive freedom and access to abortion."

Indeed, a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in June found that 67 percent of Americans believe the Roe ruling should stand. Meanwhile, the poll, which surveyed 1,492 Americans, found that 29 percent wanted to see it overturned.

Marking the 46th anniversary ofRoe, #VoteProChoice called on the "pro-choice nation" to "rise up to protect reproductive freedom in every way possible."

It added: "We cannot and will not allow an overly funded, brazenly vocal conservative minority steal our body autonomy. We will protest. We will vote. We will put our bodies on the line. This is the ultimate fight for freedom."

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Protesters on both sides of the abortion debate gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during the Right to Life March on January 18. It has been 46 years since the Roe v. Wade ruling legalized abortion. Mark Wilson/Getty
U.S. Could Be 'Weeks Away' From Repealing Roe v. Wade, Pro-Abortion Advocates Warn as Country Marks 46th Anniversary | U.S.